Minneapolis-based Cargill and Tokyo-based Teijin Ltd. have agreed to form a joint venture in which
Teijin will acquire a 50-percent interest in Cargill subsidiary NatureWorks LLC, the Minnetonka,
Minn.-based manufacturer of NatureWorks® biopolymer made from renewable resources. Completion of
the joint venture, subject to regulatory approval, is anticipated before the end of this year.
NatureWorks’ polylactic acid (PLA) plant in Blair, Neb., is the first and largest commercial
scale biopolymer manufacturing plant worldwide, according to Cargill. Production is approaching
capacity, and since 2005, volume has more than doubled. Currently, more than 100 brands in the
United States, Asia and Europe offer products ranging from apparel and home textiles to personal
care and hygiene products, food and beverage packaging, and durable consumer goods that are
marketed using NatureWorks’ Ingeo® brand. Under the joint venture, Cargill and Teijin expect to
accelerate the company’s growth globally and expand its product offerings.
“Teijin’s downstream application knowledge in fibers, films and plastic compounds will be of
immeasurable value as we grow production at our Blair, Neb., facility and consider additional
expansion in the fast-growing global marketplace,” said Guillaume Bastiaens, vice chairman,
Cargill. “NatureWorks will greatly benefit from Teijin’s expertise in technology and end-use
application development. Teaming up with Teijin will allow more brand owners, retailers and
converters to address their global interest in sustainable solutions using NatureWorks biopolymer.”
“We are very impressed with Cargill’s long-term commitment to NatureWorks PLA polymers and
other biobased products,” said Toru Nagashima, president and CEO, Teijin. “NatureWorks LLC is a
perfect fit with our strategy of pursuing strategic investments to take our environmental
management technologies global. We look forward to growing our global PLA polymer business through
NatureWorks will continue to be based in Minnetonka, and senior management is expected to
remain in place.
October 2, 2007